The show's writers were inspired by Hayley Anthony, a trans woman who collaborated with Jess Ting, the director of surgery at the Center for Transgender Medicine and Surgery at Mount Sinai, to come up with a innovative new procedure.
"[The surgery] revolutionizes the making of a vagina and we thought that was a really cool story and Candis is playing a character inspired by something we read," showrunner Krista Vernoff told The Hollywood Reporter.
"Grey's Anatomy" has been making an effort to include more trans characters and actors and more nuanced storytelling around them. This season, intern Casey Parker (Alex Blue Davis) came out as a "proud trans man" to Bailey (Chandra Wilson). But the disclosure was treated as merely one facet of the character, who also turned out to be a skilled hacker.
Cayne was the first trans actress to play a recurring character in primetime, on ABC's "Dirty Sexy Money" in 2007. She has also appeared in "I Am Cait," "Nip/Tuck," and "The Magicians."